Masai Mara game reserve is a popular wildlife safari destination in Kenya located in the rift valley region. The reserve has open grassland favoring a number of grazers that easily traverse the area in search for pasture.
The reserve has over 400 birds and 95 mammal species making it one of the best wildlife viewing destinations. Masai Mara has sectors or conservancies like the Mara Triangle, Lemek, Mara North, Maji Moto among others all with wildlife. A combination of all the conservancies is what forms the Masai Mara National Reserve.
Masai Mara game reserve covers a total land area of 1,510 square Kilometers traversed by the Mara and Talek River. Below are some of the best wildlife safari experiences you can enjoy while visiting Masai Mara.
The Wildebeest migration
This wildlife trek of grazers involves over 2 millions animals that move from Serengeti to Masai Mara game reserve. Its usually comprised of wildebeest, zebras and gazelles in thousands looking for fresh pastures over the Serengeti-Masai Mara ecosystems. Animals on the wildebeest migration arrive in Masai Mara game reserve around the month of July and depart in November.
The wildebeest migration is not your usual wildlife migration as it attracts the land’s leading predators to hunt prey. The major predators in Masai Mara include lions, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas, wild dogs and the crocodiles. There are also Vultures that are usually ready to feed on the remaining carcass after the predators have left.
Masai Mara’s wildebeest migration is a natural phenomena to look out for by any one interested in wildlife adventures. It offers an insight of life in the wild as grazers look for pasture for survival while predators hunt them.
There are several births on the wildebeest migration journey a hope to life and opportunity to learn more about nature. Best time for the wildebeest migration in Kenya is July to November when the animals have crossed over from Serengeti.
While on the wildebeest migration safari in Masai Mara look out for the River crossings especially around Mara river. Here there are thousand crocodiles that wait in the shallow river waters to take down their prey
Safari Game Drives
Masai Mara game reserve is one best place in East Africa for safari game drives. The reserve has over 95 mammal species often seen while on game drives. They include world’s largest mammals like elephants, hippos, giraffes, buffaloes, Rhinos, zebras and many antelope species.
The reserve has the major big cats including large prides of lions, leopards, cheetahs and spotted hyenas. These are seen on early morning game drives best to catch up with early risers and nocturnal animals especially cats. Masai Mara big cats are very fierce that they also make successful attempts in the big mammals like elephants.
Safari game drives in Masai Mara are very rewarding and unpredictable that each encounter offers a whole new experience. These game drives can also be enjoyed in the evening which also offers chance to view the African sun set.
Masai Mara Birding Safaris
As earlier communicated, Masai Mara game reserve has over 400 bird species including the areas endemics only seen there. The reserve is therefore one of the leading birding safari destinations in Kenya and East Africa at large. Commonly seen birds in Masai Mara game reserve include crowned cranes, Marabou storks, Horn-bills, ostriches, Eagles among others.
Birding can be done alongside game drives offering chances of diverse wildlife viewing. There are however tourists interested specifically in birds which can still be done as the reserve has so many species. The best time for birding safaris in Masai Mara game reserve are in the morning and in the evening.
Wildlife balloon safaris have over the years taken trend for adventure tourism and Masai Mara offers great opportunities for this. With the vast size of Masai Mara game reserve, balloon safaris are easily done offering great views of the wildlife.
Aerial views of the open Masai Mara plains offer opportunities for great photography and panoramic views of the reserve. While on the balloon safaris, you also get to see the beautiful landscapes enjoying the sights of nature. Ensure to book in advance to avoid missing out on this Masai Mara adventure experience.